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the boat almost foundered with the shock of help in Gilbert's motion, made his of her descent. Rosy followed lightly leap, and scrambled in during the halfand quickly.
second of chance in spite of the bit of “ And me!” screamed the poor maid; hanging chain, with the help of a friendly "you're not a-going to leave me behind oar. like this here! Wait, oh wait!”
The currents were perpetually chang"The boat's full. I'll be back directly ing, and it was now impossible for them they're landed - I swear it,” shouted Gii- to return to the same side as before; bert in return.
they therefore drifted with the stream to The freight was indeed a dangerous the farther shore, and landed at some one; the water reached to the gunwales, distance below. It was a long way round and, though the shore was not above by the upper bridge to the place where he thirty yards off, the boat nearly sunk be- hád left the Seddons; for a moment, bowfore it could touch dry land. There were ever, Gilbert had half a mind to return plenty of people there, however, ready to with the girl. “ Nay, but I wunna go back drag Mrs. Seddon over the floating rub- just to be thanked," muttered he, and his bish on to the edge, where her sat little pride came to the front. “If she cared husband was running up and down, look for that Sam no longer ago nor yesterday, ing like a drenched hen, wringing his 'twould be a poor look-out for me if she hands, and doing absolutely nothing for took to me to-day because I boated her the relief of his household. Rosy sprang across a ditch !” he thought stoutly, out after her cousin, much too agitated to “ You'll remember me to them all,” said speak to Gilbert, even if there had been a he to Lizzie, who was beginning to remoment, before he was off again to the cover her senses and start on her road rescue of poor Lizzie, whose cries could home. be heard even in the uproar.
“But you'll come home and be dried, It was almost a more difficult matter to and eat summat, arter all you've been and get at the maid than it had been at the done for us?”inquired she anxiously. mistress; the boat had drifted with its “There's not much 'home' left," anheavy charge, and they had now to row swered Gilbert, pointing over the water up-stream; the house was beginning to to the old house which was gradually settle into the water, and it was danger- sinking before their eyes, slowly breaking ous to approach it on the near side, while up piecemeal; the rush of the water was the other was beset with outlouses, be subsiding and the flood going down to its tween which they dangerously swerved. previous limits, but too late to save the “ Get out on the roof!" shouted Gilbert Seddons' home. “No, I canna come; ye to the frightened girl, who came slipping mun tell 'em it's too late, and I'm too and sliding on the broken slates, and fell soaked,” he said resolutely; "and I'm before she could reach the end of the gone home, and hopes they'll none on gable. There she hung struggling to the them be the worse of their wetting.' end of a beam. “ Leave go; drop in!” “And my money?" inquired the man cried Gilbert, but in vain, though it was a angrily. • You haven't paid me nothing." fall of not more than three or four feet; "I haven't got none,” replied Gilbert, it was impossible to inake her understand, a little sadly; " but you'll be no loser. and it was not till the strength of her Lizzie, you tell Mrs. Seddon from me as I arms gave way and she fell into the boat promised him twelve shillings, and she with a blow which almost sank it, that mun add some more for the saving of you, they could get her off.
and of the dog too,” he added, stooping At the top of a high wall alongside was to stroke the wet beast's head, who rubbed a wretched little dog, forgotten in the its dirty sides gratefully and affectionyard next door, who had broken his chain ately against his leg. Good-bye, Lizzie; in the hubbub, and now ran backwards shake hands." and forwards, howling miserably as he " It wasn't him a bit as saved my life; looked at the rushing currents; bis en 'twas you,” cried the girl; then, as she treaties for help were as distinct as if he watched him striding off up the hill, could have put them in words, and Gil.“ Him's a good un both to man and beast; bert could not withstand their eloquence; that's what he is !” she added, enthusiashe turned the head of the boat.
tically, if not grammatically: " I'll tell ye it's murder and a rascally "He's got a strong arm as ever I come shame to go back for the like o' he!". across,” observed the man; "he a’most shouted the boatman, pulling the other lifted the boat out of the water when he way; but the beast had caught his chance | rowed. But I don't hold wi' caring a'
that lot about dumb beasts ! he well nigh | he thowt unbeknownst. Go arter him, drownded us a' wi' taking in that dog; my boy, and strive if ye canna save a bit and where'd ever ha' been the reason in o' inoney to keep us from clemming ! tbat, I'd like to know."
How ever is us to get through, wi' nowt Gilbert walked away at a great pace coming in but thy little bit o'wage? God along the muddy roads. The excitement bless thee!” of the rescue had stirred his blood; he The lad trudged on, tired as he was, was no longer the down-trodden man he with all his might, to the little public. had felt before; he had not had so light a The Lone Tree was now surrounded heart for months; he had been doing by fields and old hedgerow timber, but work that was worth doing; and to en- the name must have come down from the dure passively, as had been bis doom now time when the hillside was an open, unfor so long, is always more difficult to a enclosed, treeless common, a sign of the man than action however hard. Even his old-world story often attached to such affairs did not seem so hopeless as a few primitive houses of shelter. Esau lad hours back. If he and his brother were found the settle by the ingle fire pleasant ruined, why they must begin again from and cheerful in the wet evening, and had the bottom; he was young and strong and comfortably forgotten wife and children with no one banging upon him for sup- and all his troubles, when suddenly his port. There was a dim feeling, too, in face lengthened, for the door opened, he his mind that at all events he had shown looked up, and in came Roger, out of his manhood to his lady.love, he had breath and his face in a glow from having risked lis life for others, and if she chose run so far and so fast. to marry his rival, it was hardly because “Daddy,” he panted, "the pig have a he was the better man - which was ex- got in th’ watter, and he'll be drownded, hilarating, at least for the time.
if ye donna come quick, and he sich a He was pursuing his way by the upper toërtly young un.” He had imagined this longer road, knowing that the ford would device on the road, knowing that no moral be deeper and more unsafe even than levers could be brought to bear on his usual, wlien, just as he had passed the father's hardened selfishness. lane which led to it, he suddenly heard a “'Tis very hard !” growled Esau; "and piercing cry in the distance, sharp and me that niver gets no good out o' my life painful, evidently in the direction of the not at a'. What do thopig mind? As if stick bridge; be turned and set off run- ye couldna sort him yersen! and the ning at his utmost speed, shouting as he weather so cazelty, and the wind so whifwent to summon help, but nothing living Ae, for to worrit ine like this here; 'tis a was within sight or hearing. When he good risin' I should gie thee, and no misreached the turbid, dark stream, he take, 'ithstead o' hearkening to thy jaw." thought in the dull twilight he could see At last, however, like the unjust judge, something struggling in the dim beyond. worn out with his son's insistance - for “ I'm coming, I'm coming!” he halloned Roger had a will as well as his father as he made his way slowly forward, first to get shut o'the lad, he went with him," through the water which was nearly up as he said. to his middle, and then on to the slippery “We mun go by the upper road,” cried planks of the bridge upon which he the lad anxiously, as his father turned climbed with inuch ado. He stood still down towards the ford. on the highest point and looked around, “ 'Tis the nighest way, and we'll go but there was nothing to be seen. He yonder, or we wonna go at all,” replied called again and again, but there was no Esau, with drunken perversity. It was answer; and the clouds which
were no use to struggle with him, and they sweeping at railway speed across the sky trudged on. at a great height above him so obscured "It isn't not to say dark, and for a' it's the light of the moon, that for the mo- so mucky the rain's stayed, and that's a ment be could see but a little way before marcy, and I tak’it the flood's begun to him.
go down; we'll just stump along,” said Meantime the boy Roger had hurried the boy cheerfully, home as soon as his work was over, know- When they reached the river, however, ing that his mother would sorely need all the freshet, delayed by the winding of the comfort possible after her husband's dis. stream, had not yet subsided, and the missal.
rushing water, muddy and troubled, and “ He's off to the Lone Tree," sobbed spreading beyond even its usual landthe poor woman. “I seen him pass, as I marks, looked most uninviting; the early
part, however, was shallow, and if they | woman of the house indignantly, looking could reach the planks all would be well. askance at Esau, who sat by the boy's
“Ye mun just carry me, daddy ; 'twill bead, scarcely attempting anything to be mor'n over my head," said little Rog. help those who were doing their utmost er, scrambling on his father's back, who for his child, but looking at him and rewaded stupidly on in a half-awake state peating slowly, through the yeasty waves.
“I kep' hold on him, I did. He's all “ Mind where ye're going, daddy!” right.” cried the boy anxiously, as Esau slipped " And to think that it's him that doos heavily over the broken ground beneath nothink for his family as he can help, as is them. “Mak' for the planks, right over to be left, and the little un, as is his moththere! right over there!” he called, as he er's right hand, and as hur thinks no end clung for dear life round his father's neck, on, is to be tuk from her! 'Tis a wonderwho went swaying from side to side, ut- ful world, it is,” sighed the woman. terly unable to guide his own way in his “Eh, my little lad!” added Gilbert, confusion. His hand was on the first of sorrowfully bending over the small body. the uprights of the bridge, however, when, " And art thou gone so soon before us ? with a violent lurch, he went down almost 'Tis a scratting world we live in, and no on his knees; Roger lost his hold, utter- mistake. Maybe God A’mighty's doing ing a bitter cry as his head hit the post the best for thee he could to tak' thee to and went under water. Esau clutched hissen; but thou'lt be sore missed at instinctively after the boy, and succeeded home, and I shall want thy pleasant face in getting his arm round him, while he up and down the farmstead, scores o' clung with the other to the post. He times. There's many a man thinks no then plunged slowly on, holding to the end of hissen, as might ha' gone and no planks and keeping his grip on his son, one trouble arter him, not a tenth part carrying him like a sheep under his arm, what they'll do for thee, my lad! God too dazed even to lift the lad's head out bless thee!” of the water or to help him on to the It was a simple funeral dirge, but worth bridge. He struggled on manfully, never- living for. theless, though the river was still breast. high, reached the other side, and was sit
CHAPTER III. ting under an old pollard, in a half stupe. fied state, with Roger lying across his knees, when Gilbert at length perceived The flood subsided from that night, but the pair under the shadow.
not till it had left the Seddons' home a Why, Esau, what's ever the matter? | heap of ruins. The old couple had taken Why did na' ye answer? What are ye refuge with a friend in the town, where doing there?” Then, as he stooped over Rosy went with them, at least for a few him, “Why the lad's faint or stark, and days. She had been bitterly disappointed his face all over slush! I do believe he's when Gilbert did not return to her side drownded right off.”
after their rescue; she was looking out “Nay, he's none dead,” repeated the anxiously for him to make her peace at carter dully. “I carried him over all any price, with her heart all in a glow, right, but we slipped, him and me, and his when Lizzie appeared alone, and she could head went under. He'll come to fast bave cried aloud with vexation,
I kep' fast hold on him, that's "Don't he care no more for me nor what I did; for what could I do better? that, not even a little bit just to see how He's all right.”
we were out of the water, after we'd a bin “Not if ye sit there doing nothing for next door but one to a drowning? him,” muttered Gilbert angrily, as he moaned she, under her breath, while she took the boy up in his arms and carried tried to distract her thoughts by busying him, as fast as he could, to the turnpike herself about her poor old cousin, who house, the nearest dwelling to be found was much shaken with her adventures; along that lonely road.
while Lizzie's perpetual allusions to GilThey tried every means in their power bert's merits, external and moral, his virto revive the little lad, but in vain; he tues and his stature, the strength of his was too far gone, the blow on his head arm, and the kindness of his courage, had stunned him, and the water had stifled with her praises in general of all that he him, and they could not bring him to. had done for them, were not calculated to
“A drunken rascal, as is not fit to live, comfort Rosy for his loss. and is too bad to drown!” said the The next day Mrs. Seddon wrote off
her thanks and those of the girl in very she's a good old thing, and I wouldn't hurt fervent terms to Gilbert, begging him ber not for nothink.” earnestly to come over to Knowlton; but He was true to his word; and for the nothing could induce him to stir. He next six weeks be stuck manfully to the had an undefined horror of the fuss and farm and ihe work through the bad weaththe thanks that awaited him; and that er, the cold, and the snow. It was toleraevening and night's work, with the close bly dry, however, and the land looked of little Roger's death, seemed to him better than could have been expected after almost too near his heart to bear discus. its drowning. sion. There were plenty of valid excuses as to the work wbich was wanted on the It was the last day of the year when farm, with nobody to help, which he made Gilbert was at length forced to go over good use of and absolutely refused to stir to the town to setile his business at the in spite of his brother's expostulations. lawyer's and the bank, and after that he
“ Here's a letter from the lawyer to say lingered a little at a friendly cattle-dealas Uncle Sherard up in Yorkshire has a er's, at whose house he was always weldied sudden,” said George one morning. come, so that it was late and quite dark “ They haven't so much as axed either on when he reached the dull little lodging us to the funeral, so I tak’it he haven't where the Seddons had taken refuge. remembered the old blood. But we mun “ And so you're come at last," said the write and see; and 'twill maybe kip Hop- old woman, a little grimly. “You've took kins quiet a bit longer, if you'd only just yer time to it, Gilbert Sherard. Did ye run o'er and see hinn."
think I wanted for to bite ye, as ye kep' “You just go and see for yourself, man, away so long?” how things stand. I don't believe there's “ Yer bark were ever worse nor yer nowt for us but just go on, all way up hill, bite, Mother Seddon, as George calls collar work, till so be we come to an end replied he, laughing. “I knows that right o' the trouble, or the trouble makes an well. Yer was ever good to us two, ever end ous," answered Gilbert stoutly. sin we were babbies, and 'tisn't likely I
When George returned at night he was should forget ye, but I've been busy no fuller of local news than of business, of end on the farm.' which there was little that was new to tell. "Too busy to be thanked anyhow," said
“What d'ye think that Sam Churchill the shrewd old woman, smiling. "Well, were arter the flood night? When he I allus do believe 'tis the mostest work is heerd yer was up to the Seddons' he just done wi' the leastest talk, everywheres." takes a punt too, for rivalry like; but “We'll let bygones be bygones,” inter'twere up stream, and he couldn't get not rupted he bastily, reddening. " What a score o'yards, till the boat knocked agin does Seddon, or leastways you, intend the guide.post, and he clambered up like to do about the old house that's down ?" a frightened hen as couldna neither swim “Rebuild it, man, as soon as winter nor fly! They went out to him with a softens." cart, but he wouldn't not dare to come " I hope you'll build it higher up then," down, and he stuck there better nor two put in Gilbert. hours."
“I can't abear this livin' in a street, “A pretty fellow he!” laughed Gilbert. and starin' out a winder into my neigh“And what did ye see o' the Seddons ?” bors' eyes. And now, too, I baven't a
“Old Mother Seddon she do run on so room so much as to put a dog in, and about ye, Gilbert, and all that ye done for I want ye to stop to th' watch night 'em. Why won't ye go over to her, when service, and it's too foggy and too dark she wants so sore for to see ye?” to go back arter that. There's a fine
“So I will, so I will! but I mun bide new preacher. I'm a Churchwoman my; a bit. I dunna choose not to be patted sen, but I did always love the chapel and petted and muched, and a' for now watch night, I did.” think at a'. I did it because I liked it, “Mrs. Jones have just ha' been offer. and I haven't had such a good time I ing me a shake-down if so be I'd stop don't know when, as fighting that there over it," said Gilbert. boat through the waves and the storm and “Dooee now, 'twill do ye a mort o' the broken bits: and d'ye think I'll go good! 'Tis a troublesome world we're over to be stroked like as though I were a set into, heaven knows, and if there's a pussy cat for such as that? Nay, I'll just bit o quiet to be got anywhere, sure it let it a' blow over and be done wi', and isn't for us to gie it the go-by: Aud then I'll go and sit wi' the old 'ooman, for you'll come in to supper arter all's over,
and tell me all and about it. I'm too lose your own souls, 'taking your pleasbad for to go mysen to-night. Promise ure,' as you think you are doing! Strange me that you'll come in, Gilbert !” she pleasure, it will seem, in the great liglit said, with unusual earnestness;.“ you'll of eternity! Watch, therefore, lest the none be the worse of doing an old woman vengeance of the Lord be upon you." that pleasure.”
Rosy began to feel that she herself, at “I'd promise a harder thing than that, this point, was the central sinner who and willing,” answered the young man, was preached at, and all her crimes rose smiling. * But I mun be off, and tell dark before her: her firtations, ber flingMrs. Jones I'll e'en stop with her to-night, ing away of Gilbert, her taking up of or she'll be giving away my place maybe. Sam; and as her iniquities grew blacker I'm right down glad to see ye look so in her eyes with the vehemence of the
speaker, she sobbed aloud; but so did It was about eleven o'clock when he many more, and she was not remarkable went out again, and the people were be in the assembly... And then came the sol. ginning to stream into the chapel, which emn pause, the silent waiting for the death looked to him quite full when he entered of the old year, of the time that should it, while a preliminary hymn was being never more return, the deep, almost dreadsung with much fervor, not to say noise. ful stillness the speechlessness of a He slipped into a dark place under the great, expectant crowd. gallery, not wishing to be spoken to by Rosy held her breath with awe, while any acquaintance. "Presently, to his she tried to comfort herself by thinking great surprise, he saw Rosy enter and that at least for six weeks she had not pass up the middle passage to a front done anything to speak of - in the way seat. She was more quietly dressed than of flirtation; “indeed it's nearly seven of old, and her expresion and manner, weeks I may say!” she went on to her. he thought, looked quieter too. She gazed self, counting anxiously up the debit and round the chapel a little anxiously, but he credit account of her virtuous conduct. shrank behind an iron pillar, and she did She had, in truth, been very unhappy. not see bim.
If she could but see Gilbert again, she Presently the service began: a devout would be so different; she would bey prayer, a psalm with much about the him to forgive her, and she would never shepherds keeping watch by night, supo do so any more! Only to see him again posed to be applicable; and then came a and explain, was what she prayed for; discourse of the highly-spiced character and if the prayer was not a very spiritual which all those who went to the chapel one, it was at least better than praying expected and desired to hear.
for what she did not really want, which so Ready to depart,” began the preach- many of us do day by day.
The year had been a disastrous The clock struck twelve. one, publicly and privately; let each one year that was expected by all to bring look to himself; had they learned its such happiness and such goodness as no lesson? The avenger was at hand; had old year had yet been capable of — the they repented of their sins ? he cried, year that was to fulfil all the expectations more earnestly; “ of your light thoughts, and crown all the efforts which had fallen your foolish actions, your wicked ways ! so blank and flat in the reign of his preít is the sin of each man, it is the sin decessors — rushed in. The jubilant of every man, that lies heavy on the land, psalms that greeted his entrance were and the Lord is taking vengeance on us sung with enthusiasm, a few more words for our misdeeds. Death is at hand!” were spoken, and the audience began to he almost screamed. " Let us be ready melt away through the open door. Rosy to depart, our feet shod, our Joins girded. found Gilbert by her side, she was not Ah, but there are some of you say, “We surprised, it was only natural, as the first are not wicked at all, we only like to product to be expected of the “glad new take our pleasure.' Only our pleasure ! year.”. She looked up into his face with getting wrongfully and spending reck: a tearful smile and held out her band; he lessly. Yes, and you weaker ones, that drew it within his arm, and laid his other think it no great harm, with your dan. hand upon it, and they pressed their way gles and your bangles, to hunt after out through the little crowd with a feeliny men's hearts, what shall it serve you if you as if they two were alone in creation.
"Gilbert,” whispered she, “won't ye * A tricksie girle I wot, as peart as bird.
forgie me? I'll be so good wi'ye as never Warner's Albion's England, 1592. were, and try hard not to flirt wi' nobody;